Four years ago, a brash cub reporter for an upstart web site wrote the first collegiate feature article on Jason Gesser. I imagine the Hurlin' Hawaiian will want to thank me for that early bit of confidence boosting prose either when accepting the Heisman or while holding the National Championship trophy aloft at the Fiesta Bowl. ‘Nuff said.
Sure, losing a player of Broadway Joey Harrington's caliber can be devastating. But RB Onterrio Smith makes my bowels loosen and Mike Bellotti has proven he's one helluva coach with or without the 'stache. The "we don't rebuild, we reload" macho cliche actually applies to UO.
Add Husky receiver Reggie Williams to my all-bowel loosening team. But unless Williams can teach the dogged Husky defense how to tackle (stout LB corps aside), it's bridesmaidville for the Montlakers.
So Carson Palmer is in his ninth year as the Trojan starting QB? Ooh, I'm trembling. Palmer has been - - and will remain - - the poster boy of potential unfulfilled as cobwebs take over the once active trophy cases of Heritage Hall.
Yes, the Bruins are blue chip laden…what else is new? Fact remains Bob Toledo is still their coach (not for much longer) and the most talented QB in the Paus family is sitting on the UW bench. Gotta love those blue and gold "Humanitarian Bowl or Bust!" bumper stickers seen around Westwood, though.
Sure, the Beavers will never return to those dark days (decades) of despair, but DT Eric Manning and CB Dennis Weathersby aside, this is much the same bunch that got run (literally) over last season. And is replacing a 4-year starter at QB and a Heisman candidate at RB (but keeping the same mediocre o-line) cause for the high-level of preseason optimism coming out of Corvalis? I think not.
The Wildcats have four of the Pac's elite players - - RB Clarence Farmer, WR Bobby Wade, LB Lance Briggs, and CB Michael Jolivette – but little else. Still, on any given Saturday with these four desert horsemen on the gridiron …
I like the Cardinal offense, with Teyo Johnson, Luke Powell, and Ryan Wells being the second best trio of wideouts in the Pac, but they'll need to score 60-plus a game to make up for a severely inexperienced defense. Ty Willingham may have been able to make lemonade out of this group of defensive lemons, but not Buddy Teevens.
Just the opposite problem for the Sun Devils, as their offensive unit, aside from grab-master supreme Shaun McDonald, is weaponless. Not good news for self-proclaimed offensive mastermind Dirk Koetter. Their defense, led by DE Terrell Suggs, has the potential to be darn good, but not while tethered to a three-and-out offense.
If QB Kyle Boller had gone to any other Pac-10 school would he have become the star so many projected he'd be? If QB guru Jeff Tedford had arrived at Strawberry Canyon two or 3 years ago, could he have changed young Kyle's destiny from doom to fortune? Questions to ponder as the Golden Bears spend another season under lock and key in that dark, damp cellar of defeat.
Coming next week to CF.C: The Crimson Seer cometh!